What Is Estrogen?
Estrogen is a naturally occurring female hormone.
There are 3 types of naturally occurring estrogens:
- Estradiol (E2) is largely produced by theca and granulosa cells of the ovary.
- It is the most prevalent type of estrogen found in women before menopause.
- Estrone (E1) is produced from estradiol in a reversible reaction and is also a product of the secondary conversion of androstenedione secreted by the adrenal cortex.
- This is the main form of estrogen in a woman’s body after menopause.
- Estriol (E3) is the estrogen the placenta secretes during pregnancy.
- Estriol is a secondary metabolite of estradiol and estrone.
- This form of estrogen is not secreted by the ovaries.
What Is Estrogen Therapy?
Estrogen therapy, with or without a progestogen (progesterone and progestin), is a type of hormone replacement therapy prescribed to replace estrogen the body is no longer making.
What Is Estrogen Used to Treat?
Estrogen therapy is used to treat:
- Vasomotor symptoms associated with menopause
- Prevent bone loss
- Reduce the risk of fractures
- Genitourinary symptoms
- Estrogen deficiency caused by hypogonadism
- Premature surgical menopause
- Premature ovarian insufficiency (POI)
Estrogen therapy is available in several forms:
- Transdermal (applied to the skin)
What Are the Benefits and Risks Estrogen Therapy?
The benefits of estrogen therapy include:
- Better sleep
- Maintenance of skin thickness, elasticity, and collagen
- Decreased risk of developing cataracts or open-angle glaucoma
- Improved balance and retention of balance
- Better maintenance of joint health
- May reduce the risk of developing colon cancer and type II diabetes
The risks of estrogen therapy include: